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Easy No-Boil Mac And Cheese

This easy recipe of No-Boil Mac and Cheese will surprise you with its simplicity and taste. The dish is baked from scratch without boiling the pasta before. Let’s make this delicious side dish together!

Easy No-Boil Mac And Cheese in the glass baking pan- close up

Comforting homemade mac&cheese

I always thought that mac&cheese is one of the most comforting side dishes out there. Who doesn’t like homemade creamy, gooey cheesy pasta that is easy to make? This recipe will definitely be a keeper when you learn how to make it.

Why do I love this No-Boil Baked Mac And Cheese dish:

  1. Easy to make– There are not too many steps involved, and you end up with a dish that is comforting for the entire family.
  2. The pasta is not cooked in advance– Wait, whaat? Yes, you read that right. The pasta goes first into the baking tray, and the rest of the ingredients join the party for a perfect version of baked macaroni&cheese. You just have to make the sauce separately and add it to the dish.
  3. The perfect recipe for all occasions– This no-boil mac&cheese is perfect for any day of the week when you need an easy, comforting dinner, but you can also make it for the holidays. Think Thanksgiving, Christmas, and anything in between, as this dish feeds a crowd and saves so much time!

What ingredients go into this dish:

Note: This is just a shopping list for you. For the entire recipe, please scroll to the bottom of the article.

  • Pasta– Elbow pasta is the preferred one in the US when it comes to the classic mac&cheese, but you can definitely use some other pasta shapes. Think penne, fussili, rotini, farfalle, etc. You will need about 16 oz. I used farfalle, as this is what I had available.
  • Cheese – I used shredded cheddar cheese, but you can replace it with the cheese you like. See below my comment about what other types of cheese you can use.
  • Butter – I use only unsalted butter because I want to control the amount of salt I put in any recipe. If you choose to use salted butter, then skip the amount of salt the recipe requires.
  • Milk – Whole milk is my choice, but you can definitely use other types of milk, low-fat or even plant-based.
  • Flour – I used all-purpose flour. If you are looking for a gluten-free version, use gluten-free flour to make the sauce.
  • Spices: garlic powder, crushed red pepper, nutmeg
  • Bread crumbs– I like regular bread crumbs. However, panko is great as well, and if you are looking for a gluten-free version, I am sure you can find gluten-free bread crumbs. However, you can also replace the bread crumbs with corn chips or buttery crushed round crackers.
Ingredients for the no boil mac&cheese

How to make this Easy No-Boil Mac And Cheese:

Step 1. Preheat the oven and prepare the pasta.

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the dry pasta and cheese in a 13×9 inch and set aside.

Mixed pasta and cheese in the baking pan

Step 2. Make the sauce.

Melt the butter, add the flour and cook it slightly before you add the water, milk, and spices. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil.

How to make the sauce for no-boil mac&cheese recipe- four photos collage of steps for the recipe

Step 3. Assemble the dish.

Pour the liquid mixture over the uncooked pasta and cheese and cover with aluminum foil.

two pictures collage showing how the sauce is poured over the pasta

Step 4. Bake.

Bake until pasta is almost tender. (see the full instructions at the bottom of this article.)

Step 5. Add the topping.

Melt butter in the skillet and add the breadcrumbs and dried parsley. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle bread crumbs over the dish. Add the rest of the cheese and bake uncovered until golden brown.

four images of steps to make the bread crumbs topping for Easy No-Boil Mac And Cheese

How easy this is?


Can I use gluten-free pasta in this recipe?

Of course. If you are trying to eat healthier or you are avoiding gluten, there are many tasty alternatives to standard wheat flour-based kinds of pasta. According to Bon Appetit magazine, the best pasta for baking is yellow pea pasta. It holds the shape and cooks beautifully in the oven.
If you know more gluten-free pasta that is good for baking, feel free to share it in the comments, as it would be helpful for all of us.

What other types of cheese can you use besides cheddar cheese:

From sharp to tangy, from buttery to melty, here are some of my favorite cheeses you can use in your mac&cheese:
Smoked cheddar – this cheese will add depth to any mac and cheese dish.
Havarti cheese– this cheese is mild and slightly tangy, made from cow cheese. It melts really nicely. Look for the plain variety of Havarti cheese and not the one that is made with dill.
Monterey Jack cheese with peppers– This cheese is made with chile peppers that add a spicy kick to your recipe.
Fontina– buttery and mild, this cheese melts beautifully, making it perfect for this no-boil macaroni and cheese.
Mozzarella– this cheese proudly wears the crown for the most melted cheese out there.

Plain macaroni and cheese dish is boring. Can I jazz it up a little bit?

Plain mac&cheese is delicious, but why not stir in some other items to make it more interesting? Here are some ideas:
cooked ham
cooked smoked sausage
cooked chopped bacon
shredded cooked chicken
– chopped mushrooms
– fresh spinach
– chopped asparagus


Easy No-Boil Mac And Cheese with tablespoons- close up photo

More recipes to love:

Easy Baked Pumpkin Mac And Cheese

Cheesy Chorizo and Tomato Baked Pasta

Easy Orzo Pasta Salad

Baked Cheesy German Spaetzle Pasta with Caramelized Onion

Check out the web story for this recipe: Best No Boil Macaroni And Cheese

No boil mac&cheese in the pan square photo0

Easy No-Boil Mac And Cheese

This easy recipe of No-Boil Mac&Cheese will surprise you with its simplicity and taste. This recipe is baked from scratch without boiling the pasta before. Learn how to make this delicious side dish.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mac&cheese, macaroni and cheese
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 42 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 357kcal


  • 16 ounces pasta You can use either elbow, penne, fusilli, rotini, farfalle, etc. You will need about 16 oz. I used farfalle.
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley


  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  • In a 13×9-inch baking dish, mix together dry pasta and shredded cheese.
  • In a large saucepan, on medium-high heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly for a minute, to get rid of any lumps.
  • Add water, milk, salt, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk everything together and cook until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Pour the mixture over the pasta and cheese. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until pasta is almost tender.
  • In the meantime, use a small skillet to melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the bread crumbs and the dried parsley.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the top and add the rest of the shredded cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for another 12 minutes, until cheese melts and bread crumbs are golden brown.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 824mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 479IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 246mg | Iron: 1mg
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